Alton, Ill. – Lewis and Clark Community College and the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center’s (NGRREC) new state-of-the-art sustainable Confluence Field Station will be dedicated on Oct. 26 as the Jerry F. Costello National Great Rivers Research and Education Center Confluence Field Station.

Members of the media are invited to learn more about the site’s significance in river research and LEED design at the preview event scheduled for 10 a.m., Monday, Oct. 18 at the field station (located adjacent to the Melvin Price Locks and Dam off Route 143 in Alton).

Tours of the facility will be provided, and NGRREC scientists and educators will be on-hand to discuss outreach and research efforts currently underway. The building’s designers will also be available for this preview event to answer questions related to the structure’s green features.

The Lewis and Clark Community College Board voted in August to name the new station after Rep. Jerry Costello (D-IL), who has been very supportive of the project. It is the first building ever named in the congressman’s honor.

“It is the practice of the Board to name buildings for individuals and other entities who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the mission of Lewis and Clark Community College,” Board Chairman Robert Watson said. “Congressman Costello’s support of Lewis and
Clark for more than two decades, and his particular support of NGRREC since its inception made him a unanimous Board of Trustees choice as the namesake of this facility.”

Costello took office in 1988 and has been a champion for transportation and infrastructure, and for the research and development of clean coal technologies.

"Congressman Costello has been a supporter of NGRREC since day 1. He has been instrumental in helping NGRREC develop its programming, so that it is recognized as a leader in environmental science on a national and international level,” said L&C president Dale Chapman. “He has been a champion of the environment and the Mississippi River Basin, and he has played a critical role in our region establishing the confluence region as the nexus for research and policy related to water, energy and the environment."

The dedication event will begin at 1 p.m. on Oct. 26 at the Field Station.
Following the ceremony, a ribbon cutting will take place in front of the building, and tours will be provided.

The 35,000 square-foot state-of-the-art field station will give researchers access to the river, riverine mesocosms and wet lab facilities to conduct unique experiments in studying the river system. Strategically located near the confluence of the Mississippi, Illinois and Missouri rivers, the site will serve as an international center for science, education and public outreach, related to key issues that will improve sustainable management of large rivers.

Aside from its function, the building also incorporates a number of sustainable elements including solar, wind and hydro-kinetic systems, internal and external water recycling systems, a vegetated roof and more.

The site’s newest sustainable feature is an IDOT roadway with pervious pavers and open ditches with the opportunity for bioswales to divert storm water (instead of curb and gutter). A number of sustainable materials were used in the project including filter fabric made from recycled materials, broken concrete rip rap, fly ash and recycled paper mulch. By using open grid pavement systems and light colored landscape, along with native grasses, the site will have a reduced Island Heat Effect. Workers also added a connection to the MCT bike trail and bike rack, a bus stop and reserved parking for carpool/vanpool and low emitting and fuel efficient vehicles to promote alternative transportation and fuel efficiency.

The first phase of construction began in 2008 on four acres of land leased from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The goal of the project is to attain LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification at the platinum level, which is the highest rating possible.

NGRREC is the product of a unique educational partnership formed in 2001 among Lewis and Clark, the University of Illinois and the Illinois Natural History Survey.

The public is welcome to attend this event. Refreshments will also be served.

For more information or directions, contact Lewis and Clark's public relations department at (618) 468-3200.

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